Crisis Intervention Team
In 1988, the Memphis Police
Department joined in partnership with the Memphis chapter of the Alliance for
the Mentally Ill, mental health providers and two local universities in
organizing, training and implementing a specialized unit. This unique and
creative alliance was established for the purpose of developing a more
intelligent, understandable, and safe approach to mental crisis events.
· Crisis response
· Use of force has
· Officers are
better trained and educated in verbal de-escalation techniques.
injuries during crisis events declined.
recognition and appreciation by the community has increased.
· Decrease in
liability for health care issues in the jails.
The Crisis Intervention
Training program (CIT) has resulted in a decrease in arrest rates for the
mentally ill, an impressive rate of diversion into health care systems, and a
resulting low rate of mental illness in jails.
The CIT model encourages
communities, families, law enforcement, and mental health professionals to act
as a compass for persons affected with mental illness. An increase in illegal
narcotic/alcohol abuse and the “deinstitutionalization” of mentally ill
citizens has caused many to become homeless and potentially more violent which
increases the chances of involvement with law enforcement. This increases the
possibility for excessive force complaints. Traditional
police methods, misinformation, and a lack of sensitivity, cause fear and
frustration for consumers and their families. Too often, officers
respond to crisis calls where they felt at a disadvantage or were placed in a
no-win situation. It often takes a tragedy for law enforcement to look for a
change. As a proactive program, CIT acts as a model committed to preventing a
tragic situation and providing short-term solutions with long term objectives
for all those persons concerned.
A team of local officers,
police and corrections, trained to respond to psychiatric emergencies as first
A hallmark of CIT is its
creation of strong relationships between law enforcement, community residents,
and a social service providers, to work together to solve local problems.
1.To implement a
community-oriented, innovative community policing model for responding to
2. To reduce the
number of arrests and incarcerations for non-violent offenses of people with
3. To build a strong
and lasting relationship between law enforcement, mental health providers, and
families of and people with mental illness in our local community.
4. To build an
in-jail CIT Team that works closely with the community police team.
5. To provide 40
hours of specialized CIT training to interested and qualified area police
officers to improve their ability to interact with people in psychiatric
receive training in:
Intro to Mental Illness
Diversity Issues in Mental Illness
Psychiatric Meds and Toxicology
De-Escalation Skills and Role Plays
Consumer Perspectives/Legal Issues
Children and Adolescent Mental Health
Substance Abuse and Co-Occurring Disorders
As of December 01, 2013 the Bangor Police Department has 23 police officers and 1 emergency dispatchers certified as completing the 40 hour training module. Trainings are held once a year in nearly every county in Maine with Penobscot County being in November. Local area professionals teach and assist in the training at no cost to the program which is run by Maine National Alliance for Mental Illness. (NAMI).